1 at 86th St.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
50th St. to 100th St., Central Park West to Riverside Dr.
This venue is closed.
For fifteen years, Poona, a spirited spot on West 72nd Street, featured the cuisine of the subcontinent accompanied by live musical performances. When the restaurant moved—alas—to its current smaller space on Amsterdam Avenue, with maroon walls punctuated by off-white paneling, gilded moldings, and large brass plates embossed with elephants and the Taj Mahal, the owners traded in the musical talent for pre-recorded songs. Luckily, the kitchen’s karma is still good. They serve a wide selection of conventional tandoori specialties; deftly spiced and grease-free stews of chicken, lamb, beef, and seafood; and elaborate rice dishes. While most offerings are mild, the shrimp vindaloo stands out for its pleasant piquancy driven by ground red chili peppers. (Vindaloo was introduced to India by Portuguese traders who called it vinha d’alho, for its use of wine vinegar and garlic. The Indians added the spicy kick.) Also worth trying is the lamb biryani, a pilaf of basmati rice suffused with saffron and cardamom, and dotted with fresh green peas, white raisins, and tender cubes of meat. The restaurant’s clientele is predominantly Uptown locals, with many seeking a curry fix before or after a film at the nearby multiplex on Broadway.Recommended Dishes
Onion kulcha, $3.95; lamb biryani, $14.95; shrimp vindaloo, $15.95; firni, $2.95